Skip to Content

U.S. judge overturns California’s 3-decade-old ban on assault weapons

An AK-47 assault rifle.
Lakana file
An AK-47 assault rifle.

SACRAMENTO, California — A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled Friday that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states.

California first restricted assault weapons in 1989, with multiple updates to the law since then.

California’s attorney general argued that assault weapons as defined by the law are more dangerous than other firearms and are disproportionately used in crimes and mass shootings. But Benitez said the guns are overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes.

RELATED STORY: The federal judge who overturned California’s ban on assault weapons compared an AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife

Article Topic Follows: US & World

Associated Press

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content